Working with a Realtor to sell your home isn’t cheap. Most agents charge a commission of 6 percent of your home’s final sales price. For a home that sells for $200,000, that comes out to a fee of $12,000.
You don’t have to pay real estate commissions and fees. You’d rather keep more of the profit from your home’s sale in your own pocket. That’s understandable. And it’s why so many owners are turning to for sale by owner as an alternative.
But just because you have decided to sell your home without a Realtor doesn’t mean that you won’t need help when it’s time to close your sale. The closing process — when the title of your home passes onto a new owner — is complicated. You need the right professionals to guide you through it.
Setting a closing date
The first step is to set the actual closing date. You want to give yourself and your buyers enough time to prepare, so aim for scheduling your closing at least 30 to 45 days after you accept an offer. Often, the buyer and the buyer’s agent will then contact a title company. This company will set an exact date and provide the location for your closing, usually the title company’s office.
The home inspection
Your buyer will want to schedule a home inspection before the closing date. Don’t balk at this. Your buyers need to tour your home to determine if there are any serious problems with it before they go ahead with closing. After the inspection, it’s not unusual for buyers to ask you to repair problems, provide them with a check so that they can hire someone to do the work or to lop some money off the sales price to cover the costs of expected repairs. You don’t have to do any of this. But if the problems are serious enough, buyers can back out of the purchase if you don’t provide them any relief.
A real estate appraiser will also visit your home before the closing. The appraiser isn’t looking for cracked foundations or leaking roofs. Lenders hire appraisers to determine the current market value of your home. Problems could arise if the appraiser determines that your home is worth less than what your buyers have agreed to pay.
The closing is the big day when your foray in the For Sale By Owner – or FSBO – world comes to a successful close. But be careful.
You should hire a real estate attorney to work with you on closing day. This attorney will make sure that all the closing documents – and there are many – that you and your buyers’ sign are legitimate. The real estate attorney will also make sure that you aren’t signing anything that could hurt you financially or reduce the amount of profit you’ll make from your home sale.
Real estate attorneys aren’t free – you can expect to pay $400 or more for their services on closing day – but consider this a wise investment.